Home > Cherishing Doe (Rockers' Legacy Book 7)

Cherishing Doe (Rockers' Legacy Book 7)
Author: Terri Anne Browning

 


Prologue

 

 

Jenner

The sounds of the gym in the background barely registered as I circled Howler, but my head wasn’t in the game. All I could think about was what Pixie had confessed to me over breakfast that morning. She couldn’t drop a bombshell like that and then act like she hadn’t just upended my entire world. She knew what she meant to me, and the thought of losing her was enough to make me sweat.

The punch knocked me back a good three feet before I regained my footing. Shaking away the pain, I told myself to focus, but that was impossible. Pixie didn’t have good insurance, so her treatment wasn’t covered. I needed to figure something out so she could get the best medical treatment possible.

Because losing her to leukemia wasn’t an option.

“Dude,” Howler complained when he knocked me on my ass with his next punch.

I saw stars for a moment, my jaw throbbing as it began to swell. Fuck, I was going to get myself killed in the cage if I wasn’t careful. And then where would Pixie be?

“Where’s your head at today, Bear?” my friend and mentor demanded, offering me his hand to help me to my feet.

Grimacing, I worked my jaw left and right. “Sorry, bro,” I muttered sheepishly. “Pixie just dropped some heavy shit in my lap this morning.”

Concern filled his eyes. “Is there anything I can do?”

“Man, I don’t even know if there’s anything I can do,” I admitted. “She’s sick…leukemia.”

“Fuck,” he whispered. “How bad is it?”

“Bad enough. What I really need is a better job with some really good insurance. If I can add her to my plan, then she can get the right treatment.” Knowing I wouldn’t be any good to spar with the rest of the day, I walked toward the cage door.

Instead of the gym, I should have gone to the unemployment office to check on job openings. I worked nights at my security job. If I found something for during the day with better insurance, I could work both if I economized the rest of my time. I could drive Pixie to her appointments if we scheduled them for late afternoon and sleep in the car while she got her chemo treatments.

“Let me talk to Lyla,” Howler said, following me into the locker room. “We can figure this out, brother.”

“Nah, man, it’s okay. I got this.” I didn’t have this. I was freaking the fuck out. I couldn’t lose Pixie. She was all I had left. When she came into my life, everything changed. And for once, it had been for the better. Without her, I knew I would lose my way again.

After a quick shower, I got dressed and ran out to my truck. It was at least a decade old, but it had gotten me from Point A to Point B since I’d gotten home from my last deployment. In the four years I was an active duty marine, I’d been deployed three times, each time to the Middle East. Pixie had sent me care packages every other day. The money she must have spent on shipping alone could have paid for one of her treatments, but every time I’d told her not to worry about it, she’d rolled her pretty brown eyes and told me to suck it up because she wasn’t going to stop.

Because I was just as much her savior as she was mine.

The woman I tried to speak to at the unemployment office was useless. She took one look at the ink on my hands and decided I wasn’t worth much of anything. My ink took up about eighty percent of my skin, but most of the time, I kept my arms covered. Still, there was no hiding the tats on my hands.

Pixie was still at work when I got home, and I made myself a sandwich before getting ready for work myself. I arrived at the office building where I worked security six nights a week an hour early. Pulling out my phone, I did a search for anyone who might be hiring. When that led nowhere, I swallowed the knot in my throat and let the one thought that I’d been fighting all day fully fill my head.

Maybe if I reenlisted…

My phone buzzed in my hand just as Howler’s name popped up across the screen. Scrubbing a hand over my sore jaw, I lifted it to my ear. “Hey, man.”

“Hear me out,” he said, and I sat up straighter.

“Oh…kay.”

“Barrick has an immediate opening,” Howler rushed out. “You would be working personal security for some billionaire’s new wife. I don’t know all the details about the job other than that.”

“I don’t care what I would be doing at this point, Howl. What I’m looking for is good insurance that will allow me to add Pixie to my plan without asking a lot of questions.”

“That’s what Lyla told Barrick and Braxton,” he assured me. “They understand your problem, and if you want the job, your new insurance will kick in the day you sign your work contract.”

My heart started pounding. Barrick and Braxton were Lyla’s cousins. Barrick was a Son of the Underground, just like Howler and me. The two cousins also owned the best personal security company in the country. I knew they would have top-of-the-line medical benefits. Pixie would be able to get better treatment—without going bankrupt to pay for it.

“The job is in California, though, man. And could mean a lot of traveling.”

My stomach plummeted. “I can’t leave her,” I choked out, not caring if he heard just how emotional I was. This job would be the answer to everything. But I couldn’t leave her to face the treatments on her own.

Fuck. I’d just been contemplating reenlisting. Doing that would ensure I was deployed yet again. How was this any different? The upside to this was that I wouldn’t be in a war-torn country on the other side of the world. If something happened and Pixie needed me immediately, I could just grab a flight back to Virginia. As opposed to having to go through the chain of asking for leave and the red tape that would come with it.

“Don’t worry about Pixie getting to her treatments and doctors’ appointments,” Howler continued. “Lyla and my mom have both already decided that they are going to be helping out as much as possible. And so will I and the rest of the Sons. You have nothing to worry about when it comes to Pixie being taken care of, I swear, brother. All you have to do is take the job.”

Swallowing the lump in my throat, I fisted my free hand and pressed it into my damp eyes. “I’ll do it.”

 

 

1

 

 

Doe

 

 

Fighting a yawn, I took a sip of my strong-brewed coffee and kept my gaze on the horizon, knowing any minute now the best part of my day was about to happen. Even as I fought the flare of guilt and embarrassment that what I was doing was creepy, I tucked a few locks of hair behind my ear and waited, my eyes trained on the path where Jenner ran every morning.

Life on a farm was busy, starting well before dawn, but ever since I’d figured out Jenner’s running schedule, I’d been getting up even earlier so I could get a glimpse of him. My daily dose of perfect before the rest of the day turned to crap. It had been the same for the past year, and if I had to miss this moment for any reason, I wouldn’t feel comfortable in my skin for the rest of the day.

A glance at the watch on my wrist told me it was almost time before I cupped both hands around my mug. Lifting it to my nose, I savored the scent of dark roast with the perfect amount of flavored creamer to fight the bitter taste, while still giving me enough of it to remind my brain it was time to function.

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